Plumbing Questions and Answers

No matter what plumbing problem you’re facing, we’re here to help. Our FAQ page will equip you with the knowledge and know-how you need to identify and tackle some of the most common plumbing problems you may encounter.

Why Is My Sink Always Clogged?

Sink drains catch a lot of dirt and debris including hair and soap. While it’s not uncommon for a kitchen or bathroom sink to become clogged now and again, if you experience constant blockages, there may be a bigger problem within your drain line.

In some cases, your home’s sewer line might need cleaned. There could also be a foreign object lodged somewhere in the pipe that needs to be removed. Avoid commercial drain cleaners even though they’re easy-to-use; the harsh chemicals in them can erode pipes and make you more susceptible to leaks. If you’ve cleared the drain but your sink is still clogged, a professional can come in and use a tool called a snake to reach deeper into the pipe and dislodge any dirt or build-up. A plumber can also identify where a clog is located and make sure the problem is resolved permanently.

How Can I Stop My Sink From Smelling?

Foul odors coming from your sink drain indicate a blockage in your main sewer line. In kitchens, you may smell rancid food that’s gotten caught in the drains. White vinegar and some baking soda may be able be able to break up any food that’s gotten stuck in the pipes and grinding fresh orange peels in your garbage disposal can help produce a natural deodorizer. 

A sewage smell coming from your bathroom sink indicates a problem with your main drain line, which will need to be addressed ASAP by a professional.

How Can I Make My Sink Stop Dripping?

A dripping sink is usually easy to repair; if the faucet is loose, simply tighten it with a basin wrench or pair of pliers. You may want to check under the sink as well and ensure everything is screwed tightly.  If you notice puddles of water under your sink, you have a leaky pipe that will need to be repaired or replaced depending on the extent of damage.

Why Is My Faucet Leaking?

Faucets aren’t indestructible, regular use and water pressure will wear down the rubber that connects the faucet to the pipe, which is called the O ring. A simple replacement fixture is enough to solve the problem.

An old sink washer can also cause persistent leaks; if you know the make and model of your faucet, finding the right washer replacement is easy, but installation can be difficult without any plumbing knowledge. 

Luckily, sink washer installation is an extremely affordable plumbing service that can be completed in under 30 minutes.

What Causes Low Water Pressure?

Low water pressure in your sinks, tub or shower is usually caused by a blockage of some kind. Showerheads and faucets can become dirty and cleaning them with white vinegar and a toothbrush can quickly restore your flow to its full power.

If your home’s water pressure has suddenly decreased, there is most likely a block that needs to be dislodged. If the water pressure only affects hot water, you may also need to have your water heater flushed; too much dirt and sediment in the tank blocks the main pipe and limits the flow of warm water to your plumbing system.

How Do I Test My Water Pressure?

Indoor water pressure shouldn’t exceed more than 60 psi (pounds per square inch) to prevent bursts. In most homes, the recommended water pressure is 40 to 50 psi. You can test your water pressure yourself by purchasing a pressure gauge from your local hardware store. 

Some home come with a built-in pressure regulator and monitor, but if you don’t have this, then you can test it yourself by fastening the gauge onto one of your plumbing pipes with a pair of pliers.

What Is Hard Water?

Water that contains high levels of iron, magnesium, calcium and other minerals is considered “hard.” While hard water isn’t harmful to drink, it can leave persistent stains on sinks and clothing as well as weaken pipes and cause dry hair and skin. 

Certain zones throughout the United States are more prone to hard water; some public water supplies soften their water, but others only filter out contaminants without removing the hard mineral deposits.

People who have well water supplies may also be drinking hard water as mineral compounds are known to build up at the bottom of the wells.

How Do I Treat Hard Water?

Hard water is treated through the installation of a water softening device. There are several different types of water softeners, and a professional can help you determine which one is the right choice for your home and needs. All water softeners use a process called reverse osmosis to eliminate minerals from the supply. 

Water softeners are not water filters, though, so if you want to improve the freshness and purity of your drinking water, then you will need to buy a filtration system in addition to a water softener.

Why Does My Hot Water Heater Need Flushed?

Hot Water heaters should be flushed annually to preserve their lifespan and prevent leaks. You can also prevent running out of hot water or experiencing low hot water pressure by getting annual tank flushes.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

If you want to replace your water heater, a tankless model may be the right upgrade. Tankless hot water heaters are built into the wall and operate on propane or natural gas. Rather than heat water for use, they only heat water when the faucet is turned on. Tankless heaters require less maintenance, last longer and use less energy.

How Can I Lower My Water Bill?

Lowering your water bill starts with assessing your water use. Do you take long showers, frequent baths or leave the sink running when you brush your teeth or wash your face? A few minutes of use can consume gallons of water. 

Tackling any plumbing issues as soon as they’re noticed is also an effective way to save money; many subtle leaks or dripping faucets people ignore increase water consumption and raise your bill.

What Is Safe to Put Down My Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals are not designed to handle glass, paper products, trash or grains. Keep in mind that anything you put down your garbage disposal has to leave through your drain line, and certain foods can expand and cause clogs. 

Avoid throwing anything hard such as bones or fruit pits and liquids like grease and oil down your disposal. These types of items can cause a malfunction in your garbage disposal.  Soft, organic waste is best for the disposal; anything else should be composted or thrown in the trash.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell?

Garbage disposals smell when food becomes stuck at the bottom or lodged in the pipe. You can treat a smelly garbage disposal with 1/4 cup white vinegar and a half-cup of salt. After you run this through your disposal and rinse your drain, grind some citrus peels to release a clean, fresh scent and flush it through your pipes.

Why Won’t My Toilet Stop Running?

The rubber float in your toilet bowl controls water pressure, and it can sink too low or rise too high, leading to constant running water in your toilet. Replacing the fill valve can usually fix this problem. You may also have a loose flusher that needs replaced.

When Should I Call a Plumber?

If you run into any trouble with your pipes that you don’t feel 100-percent comfortable fixing yourself, it’s best to consult with a professional. You could always contact a plumber right away if you experience burst pipes, notice large puddles of water in your home, have heavy leaks or run out of water completely.The Plumber Guys are always prepared to take your call and respond to any plumbing problem, big or small. Contact us today to schedule your next service appointment.